2017 March 16

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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Google World Maps: 2014 Agricultural Output Per Worker

While the United States and Canada have some of the most productive farms in the world, France and Norway produce slightly more economic output per person employed in agriculture.

Notes from the World Bank: Agriculture comprises value added from forestry, hunting, and fishing as well as cultivation of crops and livestock production. Data are in constant 2000 U.S. dollars. Agricultural productivity is measured by value added per unit of input. Agricultural value added includes that from forestry and fishing. Thus interpretations of land productivity should be made with caution. Among the difficulties faced by compilers of national accounts is the extent of unreported economic activity in the informal or secondary economy. In developing countries a large share of agricultural output is either not exchanged (because it is consumed within the household) or not exchanged for money. Agricultural production often must be estimated indirectly, using a combination of methods involving estimates of inputs, yields, and area under cultivation. This approach sometimes leads to crude approximations that can differ from the true values over time and across crops for reasons other than climate conditions or farming techniques. Data on employment are drawn from labor force surveys, household surveys, official estimates, censuses and administrative records of social insurance schemes, and establishment surveys when no other information is available. The concept of employment generally refers to people above a certain age who worked, or who held a job, during a reference period. Employment data include both full-time and part-time workers.

Data Source: World Bank, Economic Indicators. Table 3.3. Agriculture value added per worker (constant 2010 US$) (EA.PRD.AGRI.KD). http://wdi.worldbank.org/table/3.3#

Trump slashes Appalachian agency funding that helps Eastern Ky.

"An agency that pumps millions of dollars each year into economic development in Eastern Kentucky and other Appalachian states would lose federal funding if President Donald Trump’s proposed budget prevails."

"Trump would help pay for increased military spending and a U.S.-Mexico wall by eliminating money set aside for several independent agencies financed by the government, including the Appalachian Regional Commission."

"The agency, which covers all or parts of 13 Appalachian states, has been a conduit for hundreds of millions in aid to Eastern Kentucky since it was founded in 1965, when poverty rates exceeded 50 percent in some counties and much of the region lacked adequate water, highways and health care."

"The ARC has spent more than $23 billion in Appalachia since then on a wide range of programs and projects to tackle the region’s woes."

"Between October 2015 and January 2017 alone, the ARC supported 63 projects in Kentucky totaling $31.9 million, the agency said Thursday. That spending, which has been matched by more than $65 million in other aid, is projected to create or retain more than 1,200 jobs and provide education or workforce training to more than 2,300 people in the state’s 54 ARC counties, the agency said."

Good evening! Partly sunny and 27 degrees in City of Albany. Breezy, 20 mph breeze from the west-northwest with gusts up to 34 mph. The current wind chill is 14.

The sun will set at 7:03 pm with dusk around 7:31 pm, which is one minute and 10 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly cloudy conditions and 25 degrees. The wind chill around sunset will be 12. Breezy, 16 mph breeze from the west-northwest with gusts up to 26mph. Going to be a chilly evening but the first day of spring on Tuesday will see a warm up for at least a day or two with temperatures reaching a normal of about 47 with sun.

More delays heading out of the city tonight. Traffic has been so bad downtown since the snowstorm. The bus was only a few minutes late but both traffic is delayed downtown and on the old 787.  Amazing what a little snow can do to back up traffic. It doesn’t take much to create all kinds of traffic problems. I’m sure I’ll get home eventually. 

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 15 degrees at 6am. 12 degrees below normal. Maximum wind chill around 5 at 6am; Northwest wind 13 to 18 mph decreasing to 7 to 12 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph. In 2016, it got down to 38 degrees with periods of fog and rain and thunderstorm. The record low of -1 occurred back in 1916.

I will probably have fish for dinner tonight, as I’m not Catholic and I don’t believe in trends. Maybe clean off my truck again and walk down to the library. The sidewalks look pretty decent at this point. Outside of the city the roads are all bare. I have a DVD to return to the library this evening. Won’t be pitch black walking down there now with the time change. 

Waning Gibbous Moon tonight with 71% illuminated. The moon will rise around 9:36 pm. The Last Quarter Moon is on Monday night with mostly cloudy then scattered snow showers skies expected. The Full “Pink” Moon is on Tuesday, April 11th. The sun will rise at 7:03 am with the first light at 6:35 am, which is one minute and 45 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 11 hours and 57 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 54 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be sunny, with a high of 33 degrees at 4pm. 12 degrees below normal. Northwest wind 7 to 10 mph. A year ago, we had fog, rain, thunderstorm and a high of 61 degrees. The record high of 75 was set in 1990. 4.1 inches of snow fell back in 1982.

Right now, a split verdict on the weekend. Saturday, a chance of snow showers, mainly after 9am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 35. Calm wind becoming southeast around 6 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Sunday, partly sunny, with a high near 38. Typical average high for the weekend is 45 degrees. Still looking cold for the weekend but not that bad in the grand scheme of things. 

In four weeks on April 13 the sun will be setting at 7:35 pm, which is 32 minutes and 7 seconds later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had partly sunny skies and temperatures between 53 and 31 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 57 and 37 degrees. The record high of 87 degrees was set back in 1977.

Looking ahead, Easter is in 1 month, Average High is 70 is in 2 months and Start of June is in 11 weeks.

Trump’s Proposed Budget Would Cut Conservation Right Where It’s Needed Most

"A broad coalition committed to safeguarding the future of our country’s fish and wildlife populations, outdoor recreation opportunities, and national heritage is dismayed at the deep level of cuts recommended by President Trump in an official budget request released today."

"If enacted, Trump’s budget proposal would offset a $54-billion boost to defense spending by cutting foreign aid and domestic programs. This includes a proposed 12-percent decrease to the Department of the Interior budget, which is likely to slash resources needed to manage public and private lands, support state management of fish and wildlife, and enact conservation across the country. This would have devastating impacts on the ground for natural resources, historic sites, and the rural American communities that thrive off outdoor recreation and tourism spending."

The summer of 1959 was the hottest summer ever in the history of Albany. There were 996 cooling degree days during the summer of 1959, compared to the normal of 550 cooling degree days. Cooling degrees are the number of degrees an air conditioning must lower the air temperature in a month to make the indoors a comfortable 65 degrees.

May 1959 – 150
May Normal – 15

June 1959 – 293
June Normal – 97

July 1959 – 293
July Normal – 219

August 1959 – 281
August Normal – 183

September 1959 – 171
September Normal – 33

October 1959 – 12
October Normal – 3

If you aren’t convinced that Albany was hot during the summer 1959, consider the fact that the temperature average for September 1959 was 82 degrees in Albany. That’s ten degrees above the September average of 72 degrees most years.

GISS Land-Ocean Global Means Temperature, 1880-2016

The average land and ocean temperature globally between 1951-1980 was 56.7 degrees fahrenheit. NASA, with it's vast earth monitoring system of satelites and ground based equipment measure temperature around the globe to follow trends over time. They put out GISS numbers monthly and yearly, that look at the difference in temperature between the 1951-1980 average compared to today. Those numbers are widely cited on climate change blogs. While scientifically accurate, their analysis is confusing to the layman who finds it hard to understand negative and positive Celsius numbers of a few degrees.

Most of us know the weather only by Fahrenheit, and rather then use negative numbers and departure from the average, I used actual global temperature averages. In 2016, the global temperature was 58.42 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, in 1960, the global temperature was 56.2 degrees Fahrenheit. While 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit difference in global temperature over 66 years doesn't seem like a lot, it does mean spring comes earlier across the globe, areas freeze up later, and summer days are somewhat hotter. As the oceans are a powerful heat sink, actual global land temperature changes are less then 2.2 degree Fahrenheit difference between now and 1960, but still there is a noticeable increase there too.

Forces like el nino and la nina, and other weather patterns do change global temperatures a bit from year to year. But as carbon dioxide emissions have rapidly increased, so have temperatures. Within the next 20-30 years, it's almost certain global yearly temperatures will exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a big jump from 56.25 degrees Fahrenheit at the turn of the 20th century.

Data Source: Combined Land-Surface Air and Sea-Surface Water Temperature Anomalies (Land-Ocean Temperature Index, LOTI). https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/